New Drumming Principal at Pipe Bands Australia 

Following the resignation of Greg Bassani, PBA has appointed Dean Hall Principal Drumming of Pipe Bands Australia’s Australian Pipe Band College by national management committee on the recommendation of branch vice-principals.

The PBA website reports: ‘Dean is currently vice-principal in New South Wales but did not participate in the recommendation and selection process. He was one of several applicants for the position reviewed by the other vice-principals who expressed pleasure with the very high calibre of qualified members who expressed a desire to serve in the position of principal.

‘He has a huge passion for snare drumming and equally a desire to see growth in Pipe Bands Australia for all forms of drumming in the movement.

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‘The new principal has a background in online music education, workshop presentation and administration and has advised national management committee of a desire to develop online education platforms, regional workshop programs and advance the Australian Solo Drumming Championships.

‘Dean will lead the branch team of vice-principals and their panels. He will shortly relinquish the NSW position after almost eight years and arrange an orderly transition to a new appointment to be made by that branch. He has been lead drummer with bands in Australia, Britain, Ireland and Germany since beginning his playing career in 1980.

‘PBA president Chris Earl said the appointment of Dean had come with the recommendation of branch vice-principals.

Chris said: “We look forward to Dean’s enthusiastic approach to leadership of the drumming division of our college and welcome his aims to develop online education as a key area to lift engagement in the advancement of drumming standards in Australia and other countries where our syllabus is used.”’

More about Dean from his Drumming Mad website: ‘In 1994, Dean migrated to Dublin, Ireland and joined the St. Laurence O’Toole Pipe Band, under leading drummer John Keogh and Pipe Major Terry Tully. When ‘Johnny’ retired, Dean was invited to take over the SLOT corps. Dean ensured the continued presence at the World Championships in Scotland during a time of change for the band, helping grow the drum corps of two snares, one tenor and bass, to the competitive size of six snares, two tenors and bass.

‘St. Laurence O’Toole went on to merge with another local pipe band, St. Joseph Clondalkin. With this merger came top drummer Stephen Creighton, to which Dean handed the reins of lead to the more experienced Stephen. During his time with St. Laurence O’Toole, the corps went on to win the All Ireland National Best Drum Corps prize in 2 successive years and regularly beat some of the best drum corps in the world.

‘Since 2003, Dean turned his focus to teaching Pipe Band Snare Drumming all over Europe and competing with The Pipeband Club (based in Australia). In 2009, Dean relocated back out to Australia, this time to Sydney where he took on the role of Head of Drumming at The Scots College. Teaching up to 150 drummers a week, Dean’s role at The Scots College enabled him to achieve an even greater focus on the development of methods and techniques for teaching and encouraging young drummers…’

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